Best time to Book and Travel / World Weather


Timing as they say is everything – It could mean the difference between paying 2,000 or 1,400 dollars for a flight. But knowing when to book and also the best time to travel can be a bit tricky. After some research on the internet on forums, advice websites and first hand experiences, I’ve compiled a summary of timings. Many online travel organisations suggest booking 6 weeks ahead of time, basing this on past flight pricing data, but ultimately this varies from region to region. Some travel agents also mention that 10 months in advance is the golden time for booking – especially for Europe and North America flights.

Skyscanner have recently (In February 2015) advised Australian travellers that the optimal time to book cheapest flights before you fly is: 20 weeks prior for Asia and United States, 12 Weeks prior for the United Kingdom and 6 weeks prior for New Zealand travel (All ex Australian destinations). Where the optimal cheapest times to fly lie in the second week of November and the month of February – as a general finding, regardless of destination.

Book domestic flights 21 days or more.
International at least two months in advance (53 days before departure).
Best savings (cheapest) are for flights departing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.
Most expensive on Friday nights and Saturdays, and flights returning on Sunday

Airfares available 10-12 month ins advance – coincides with early bird fares.

General cheap flights period for the following year – early bird – Late August to October.

Most of all when to book depends on the time of the year you wish to travel and the demand that the timeframe you wish to travel within has – for instance Christmas and New Years periods tend to often sell out in advance, leaving inflated priced offerings. For ideal flight offerings, for those with non specified booking recommendations, you can utilise the online flight portals (such as and set up alerts when when prices drop for the time of the year you wish to travel in. This will allow you to be immediately alerted for when to pounce on these deals before they sell out.

Note: As a general rule, flights are released 330 days in advance, lesser for some low cost carriers.

Of course you can book and travel outside the suggested times below, but from past instances these timings have proven to be most ideal.

You are most welcome to submit your feedback on the best times to book and also travel.

Best time go to resources

As a start – some useful websites which have also compiled the best times to go are:

Overall Best time to go / Book resources:

  • ** Lonely Planet – Portal of world places (Within each country, region and city destination lists the best time to go, weather temperature chart) –

Natural world safaris – Tours – and



– (Includes countries such as Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Regions such as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Note: Turkey has been included in ‘the Middle east’ for geographical purposes)

Book: Mid September to December – the year before you travel for travel in the warmer months of Europe – Sales for April to July occur at this time. Summer early bird fares get released from September – one airline releases their sale fares and then the others follow, usually under cutting each other in price afterwards. Generally the golden rule is to book 10 months ahead of travel

Travel: April, May, June, July

Travelling to western Europe in the shoulder seasons – usually April to mid-June, and September/October – has many benefits such as pleasant weather, fewer crowds and cheaper prices for accommodation and tours.

In the UK temperatures are cooler so it’s worth visiting from May to August.

Aim for early summer (June) when visiting Scandinavia. However, you’ll have to brave its winter to see the northern lights.

March and April are great to visit Turkey: warm, not hot, weather and wildflowers in bloom, although Gallipoli is very crowded around 25 April. Avoid July/August unless you really like heat.


South America

Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page)

Cheap sale flights often sold by the major carriers (via US and also more direct) around late January/February for April to November travel – From Australia.

Overall – May/June, September/October           Festivals – January/February/March

Regional breakdown:

Northern South America

Tropical weather rules in the equatorial northern section of South America, encompassing Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela and the Amazonian region. Like Central America, your best bet for visiting the region is to travel during the dry season (avoid the Christmas, New Year’s and Easter holidays). In this area, the dry season runs from Mid-November to April, with November and May as the shoulder months. July / August make a good time to visit.

Central South America

Though you can lump Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and even Paraguay under the umbrella of central South America. The primary dry season being from June through September. From Late May to August, temperatures are pleasant, the air is breezy and skies are clear, though it can be a bit too cool. So Ideally the shoulder seasons of February to may / September to Early November are suitable for warm weather, but do have to contend with higher rainfall. Visiting Machu Picchu During the month of May is recommended as ideal.

For Brazil:

Sao Paulo between April to September

Rio de Janiero shoulder seasons – February to may / September to Early November, June to August is the best time. December to March is wet and hot.

Pantal region May to September

Amazon region June to September.

More information on best time to visit Brazil:

Southern South America

Comprising Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, southern South America. Travel to Patagonia in the summer (December to March), when warmer alpine temperatures make for a pleasant trekking atmosphere. The shoulder seasons, from September to December and March to June, are ideal to escape the sizzling summer dry heat and hoards of domestic vacationers.

Overall South America

Peru is near the equator and has mild winters and summers. Around Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, there are distinct wet and dry seasons. Visit in April or May when there are clear skies and fewer crowds, avoiding June to August.

Don’t visit in February when the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance.

Argentina is also best in April and May.

Brazil’s coastal cities, including Rio de Janeiro, are still warm in winter and relatively uncrowded.

For the Amazon, go during the dry season (June to December), unless you want to see wildlife, in which case it’s the wet (January to May).

If you’re travelling the length of Chile, with its wide range of climates, then choose summer (December to March); it’s the busiest time but it will give you the best access to the country, including Patagonia and the Andes.

September to November is best to visit Ecuador

February/March for Colombia.

In Antarctica, summer (November to March) has the best wildlife viewing.


North America

– (Includes countries such as Canada and the United States of America)

Hurricane season: June to late November (Affects the Southern Gulf coast region and Mid-East Region)

Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page) –

Cheap sale flights by the major carriers often sold around late January/February for travel between April to the end of the year – from Australia.
Overall North America Travel:

As with Australia, the size of the US and Canada means variety in seasons and climates, so the best time will depend on what area you want to visit. October is the magic month, there are fewer crowds, the weather is pleasant, you can get low-season rates on accommodation, and nature can be viewed in its autumn splendour.

Avoid summer, if you can. It comes with crowds, heat, high prices and coincides with North American school holidays. If you’re heading to the east coast, then September/October is a good time to see the autumn trees.

Spring or autumn are best for the mid-west to avoid the scorching summer or the freezing winter. The west coast is ideally visited between April and October.

If your plans include the Gulf of Mexico or the eastern seaboard, then avoid the hurricane season: basically mid-May to the end of November.

USA Travel: Summer (June-August) is most popular but most crowded. Autumn (September to November) and spring (March-May) are preferred. For Hawaii the ideal month is in June.

If you want a white Christmas or to enjoy the ski resorts, then  winter time in the U.S. (being December to February) may suit – but beware of blizzard conditions causing havoc with the roads and flights.

Canada Travel: Similar to the U.S., Canada enjoys lovely summer period from late May to Early September which is best to enjoy the great outdoors and the many scenic attractions on offer.

Fringe times around March-May (Spring) and September to Early November (Autumn) also offer good conditions from the spectrum of Autumn colour to the pop of Spring flowers. Should you be keen for winter activities such as skiing in the mountain resorts, then November to February will suit. Being in a northern position, the winter conditions can be harsh with minimal sunlight and cold days.


Central America / Caribbean

– (Includes countries such as Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Cuba and the Caribbean Islands)

Hurricane season: June to late November (Mexican Gulf region)

Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page).

Best to travel to the United States and then connect to the Central America / Caribbean region from there, due to greater choice and value.

Overall Region Travel: Feb through to May (Dry season) – Where April and May are the best months to visit. In general June and July the weather can get quite wet.

Mexico Specific Travel: The most pleasant months to visit are said to be October to May where it’s fairly dry and still warm.The weather can be quite humid and wet from May to October.


South East Asia

– (Region covering countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, The Phillippines, Brunei, East Timor and Cambodia)

Book:  90 – 100 days in advance Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page)

Travel:  Varies generally October / November / early Dec (except Indonesia, Malaysia (including Malaysian Borneo) and Singapore which are best travelled in the middle of the year – April to September.

Southeast asian haze (Large-scale burning of illegal land clearing and burning of palm trees – Happens August to Early October) – causes major smoke pollution affecting the countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. Not good travel times in general, especially for asthmatics and people facing respiratory issues.

Refer to:

Areas not covered (To be added here):

Bagan (Myanmar – Northern)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

South Eastern Thailand (Such as Koh Samui)

South Western Thailand (Such as Krabi and Phuket)


The Philippines has four distinct climate zones.

The capital, Manila, has a particularly severe wet season (peaking July to September). However, many other areas of the country are dry during this time.

Typhoons are the big wildcard. They typically affect huge swathes of the country and can occur even outside the typhoon ‘season’ (which is roughly June to December). Keep an eye on sites like Typhoon2000 ( to make sure you’re not heading into the teeth of one, and, if you are, reroute.


Northern Asia

– (Includes countries such as Japan, China [including Hong Kong & Macau], Korea and Taiwan)

Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page). For Japan, Jetstar release very cheap direct Japan fares from Australia periodically – keep an eye out! 

Travel: March,April, May (Spring season) OR September, October, November (Autumn season).

China is best visited in early autumn (September/early October) with reasonable temperatures and low rainfall.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate so avoid typhoon time (May to November).

Visit Malaysia and Singapore between March and early October to avoid the worst of the rain and humidity.

The cooler months (November to February) are best for Thailand, although they are the busiest, so book ahead.

Japan’s famous cherry blossoms are on display from March to May, however October/late November with its glorious autumn foliage is less busy.

If you wish to enjoy the Japanese mountain snow resorts then December to mid-March (Winter-ish months) will suit best – but note that in urban areas (such as in Tokyo and Kyoto) many attractions go into hibernation over winter due to the weather and as the tourist population are mostly in the snow areas.


Western Asia / Indian Subcontinent

– (Includes countries such as Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan)

Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page). Often best to travel to South east Asia and then connect to the subcontinent region from there, due to greater choice.


Maldives – Has two monsoon seasons – dry northeast monsoon from December to March, and the wet southwestern monsoon from May to November (Winds and Rain) – try avoid the Christmas and New Year’s period. Shoulder months of November and April are best times to visit.

June to August poor weather due to monsoons. Peak season with great weather is September to November. December to February is winter and has crisp views

For other countries / locations refer to:


Middle East

– (Includes countries such as Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar)

Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page)

Travel: The best time to visit where there is pleasant weather is during Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November).

There are fewer crowds in summer but that’s because the temperatures regularly top 40 degrees.

Winter is high season in most of the Middle East for a reason: the days are still sunny although the nights are chilly.

Avoid the periods of June to August where the scorching summer heat reaches over 40 degrees daily and prohibits you from fully enjoying the outdoors – you mostly see the locals hustling around in air conditioned malls in places such as Dubai, seeking relief from the heat.  This also explains why hotels advertise cheap rates during this time.

Also travel sources advise tourists to avoid visiting during the religious time of Ramadan, due to major changes in business hours and the prohibition of eating/ drinking in public during this time.




Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page)


East African Continent – The dry seasons are from December to February/March AND June to October – these are ideal conditions, especially if venturing off the beaten track. These also are best to see wildlife, as water sources diminish forcing animal populations to concentrate in certain areas.

Southern African Continent –  The dry season is from  May to June, gets really hot in October, then rains November to April/May.

If you’re going on safari in South Africa or Zimbabwe, then plan for May to September – it’s the dry season and wildlife is easier to spot. It’s also the low tourist season.

Kenya’s dry season is June to October and this is the best time to see the wildebeest migration, although it can be crowded.

West African Continent  –  The dry season is from October  to May – getting hotter towards the end of the season.

Central / Saharan African Continent – The best time to visit is from October to April, where the temperatures are more mild. Though at night the temperatures often fall below 0 degrees – reflecting the usual arid climate range.

North African Continent – The best time to visit is the more cooler timeframes of September to November AND mid-March to May. If you wish to see wildlife, then the months of March to May display nature coming back after the dry season, with an abundance of flora and fauna.

Summer can also be good (June to August), but only if you are prepared for the excessively humid conditions during this time. Often visitors to Spain and (Europe in general) tie in a visit to Morocco, where the climatic conditions are quite similar.

Morocco is best in spring (April/May), although if you don’t mind really cold nights then try December/January.

Visit Egypt in October or November as the weather isn’t too hot and the tourists aren’t too ubiquitous.

Eastern African Islands

Mauritius  – The best months to visit Mauritius are May to early December. January and February are the peak cyclone months best avoided.

Madagascar – April and October/November Avoid January to March, when heavy rainfall and Cyclones.
Seychelles – The transitional periods of March to April and October to ­November have calm and windless conditions, making it ideal to travel. Wet season is from October to April, whilst the cooler windier season is from May to September



Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page)


Australia – The sheer size of Australia makes the timing dependant on the specific region you are heading to.

General Overall

If you’re planning to holiday in Australia, spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are the best times to holiday in the south.

This is the best time if you want to avoid crowds, summer heat and winter chills. If your destination is the tropical north, then you’ll want to visit between April and November – it’s still hot but also dry.

Australia’s interior can also get extremely hot so visit April to June, or October/November.

Southern Western Australia (Perth) and South Australia (Adelaide) – September to April

Broome and Northern Western Australia – April to October

Northern Territory – April to Mid June AND Late August to October.

Victoria / New South Wales– Mid-February to early May (Autumn conditions) AND September to November (Spring Conditions).

If you wish to brave the summer heat then November to Mid-February may take your preference – but beware the temperatures can rise to over 40c. On the other hand, if you are seeking winter snow adventures, late-May to mid-August will suit visiting the New South Wales and Victorian ski fields.

Tasmania – Visiting the island from Late-October to Early-April will provide pleasant warmer weather. The Winter and Autumn times (late-March to August) tends to be avoided due to the chilly and antarctic weather.

Queensland – The sunny state has a tropical climate whereby the dry season and wet seasons are referred to, rather than the usual four seasons. During late-May to October are ideal months and conditions to visit the state (Although inland areas tend to be chillier during the winter months of June to August). November to May is the broad humid and wet season, where within this the peak wet months are January to March – the peak months for flooding and cyclones, especially in the northern tropics such as Cairns.

– North Qld and NT – Nov / dec & april / may – wet season

New Zealand – The optimal warmer months from November to March provides perfect conditions to explore the natural wonders of the countries’ scenery. Shoulder months of October/November (part Spring) and April/May (part Autumn) are also good times to visit, but more cooler. Should you be keen to take in the snow resorts of Queenstown, then the wintry months of May to August, are the ideal times for great conditions.

Other Pacific Islands –  The ideal time to visit is from May to October – where weather is balmy and more pleasant. The wet season (with humid weather and higher mosquito levels) occurs from November to April, whilst the cyclone period is from December to March.

Pacific wet in oct and may


Book: Varies (Refer to overall timing advice at the top of the page)


The warmer months from November to March are the best time to visit the antarctic continent, where ice coverage deceases, allowing visitors great access and enjoyment to the ice continent proper.



Weather / Natural Conditions

– Includes: Weather service by international TV broadcasters
ABC news – Australia – Weather –

Accuweather (Includes ‘Feels like’ temperature) –

BBC Weather – and

– BBC UK Weather watchers –

Calendar Australia – Lunar calendar –

** Easy Voyage – Weather forecast –

Geology Service (United States Geology service) – World earthquake alerts and news- and (World earthquake map) –
Geoscience Australia (Moon Phase, Sunrise / Sunset, Earthquake alerts) –

Geoscience Australia – Natural hazards –

Global Disaster alert and coordination system – United nations –
Holiday Weather –

Intellicast – Weather –

Lightning maps –

Metro group – Global weather authority –
Severe Weather Tips (By Smart Traveller) –

Smart Traveller – Australian government – Severe weather –

* Time and date – Moon Phases – based on location / county –
* Time and date – Sunrise, Sunset and Daylight length – based on location / country –

* Time and date – Weather – Current worldwide city / region forecasts (With search options for Specific location weather details) –

Travel Guide – Destination climate guides and recommendations –

Weather2Travel –

Weather network –

** Weatherzone (Detailed weather details) By Fairfax Australia-

– Forecasts
– Lifestyle
– Warnings
– News
– World Weather
– Radar & Maps
– Weather Models
– Marine
– Sea Charts
– Surf
– Snow & Ski
– Climate

– Marine Weather –
– Meteorology –
– Swell net (Surf reports) –

Wikipedia – Equinox –
Wikipedia – Lunar Phase –
Wikipedia – Seasons – Calendar (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring) – Tropical (Wet, Dry) –

Wikipedia – Solstice –
Wikipedia – Weather –
Wikipedia – Weather – portal –

* Willy weather (Wweather, Wind, Rainfall, Sunrise/Sunset, Swell, Tides, Moon phases, UV Index) –
World Weather –

World Meteorological service – and
World meterological organisation –
World meteorological organisation – severe weather –
World surf report – Magic seaweed –

National Meteorological organisations

Wikipedia – National Meteorological organisations –

Wikipedia – World meterological organisation –

World meterological organisation –

Specific countries:

– Austria –
Austria Weather –

– Australia –
** Australian Bureau of meteorology (BOM) –
– Places (Search locations) –
– Interactive weather / climatic conditions –
– Climate forecast –

Australian Bureau of Meteorology – Climate –
Australian bureau of meteorology – Tsunami warning –

Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) –

– Brazil –
Brazil weather –

– Canada –
Canada weather –

– Caribbean –
Caribbean disaster emergency management agency –

– Colombia –,_Meteorology_and_Environmental_Studies_(Colombia)
Colombia Weather –

– Croatia –
Croatia weather –

– European centre for medium range weather forecasts –

– European Union –
Europe Extreme weather warnings –

– France –
France Weather –

– Germany –
Germany weather –

– Greece –
Greece Weather –

– Hong Kong –
Hong Kong weather –

– Indonesia –,_Climatology_and_Geophysics
Indonesia Weather –

– Italy –
Italy Weather –

– Japan –
Japan meteorological association –

– Malaysia –
Malaysia weather –

– Mexico –
Mexico Weather –

– Netherlands –
Netherlands weather –

– New Zealand –
New Zealand Weather –

– Philippines –
Philippines weather –

– Portugal –
Portugal weather –

– Singapore –
Singapore weather –

– South Africa –
South Africa weather –

– Spain –
Spain weather –

– Sweden –
Sweden Weather –

– Switzerland –
Swiss meterology -

– Taiwan –
Taiwan weather –

– Thailand –
Thailand weather –

– United Kingdom –
United Kingdom weather –

– United states of America –
United States – National Weather service –
United States – National hurricane centre –

Astronomy / Space

– For Victoria, Australia observatories – Refer to ‘attractions’ page under the Melbourne portal.

Astronomy portals:

**** Astronomy Portal (Includes – Sunrise and sunset times, Moonrise and moonset times, Moon Phases, Solar and lunar eclipses, Equinox and Solstices, Meteors and Comets) –

Astrostories Australia –

Aurora Australis (Night Southern Sky lights forecast tracker – Also includes Northern Aurora Lights for America and Europe links) –

Heavens above – Astronomy portal – Includes space station location –

National geographic –

Sky and telescope – –

Time and date – Astronomy –
Time and date – Moon phases –

Wikipedia – Outline of space exploration –

Australian Associations:
Astronomy Australia – sky guides –
Astronomical society of Australia – Australian astronomy –
Australasia planetarium society –

Centre of excellence for all sky astrophysics – CAASTRO –

International Associations:

Outline of space exploration –

International Space programmes (Public and private):

Wikipedia – List of private spacecraft companies –

Space x –

Wikipedia – List of governmental space agencies –

Wikipedia – Public sector space agencies –

Australian space agency (2018)
Canadian space agency
European space agency
French space agency
German aerospace agency
Italian space agency
Japan aerospace agency
Russian federal space agency
Spain – Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial
UK space agency

USA – American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. –
USA – NASA (National aeronautics and space administration – space program)-
– Eclipses –
– Blog –

NASA space centres –
– Florida – Kennedy space centre –
– Texas – Johnson Space Center –
– Goddard Space Flight Center – Greenbelt, Maryland –
– Stennis Space Center – Hancock County, Mississippi
– Marshall Space Flight Center – Huntsville, Alabama –
– Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Pasadena, California –

Astronomy / space centres:

Wikipedia – Spaceports (Launchsites)

Observatories – International:

Wikipedia – List of astronomical observatories –

Wikipedia – List of astronomical observatories –

USA – Observatories in the USA –

Astronomy online live streaming:

Slooh –
Time and date – Live streaming –
Virtual telescope –


Links last checked : / /2015

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